BGA - Eureka Water Storage and Surrounding Area

Eureka Water Storage

Last update:

Reason: Blue-Green Algae

Eureka Storage – Rural customers in surrounding area

** Water Pumps to remain on – no change to delivery **

AMBER Alert - BGA Levels currently 2.31 mm3L

Laboratory testing of water samples indicate that blue-green algae levels have decreased at the Eureka Storage.

Water delivered by the Eureka Storage is safe to use and is presently below the blue-green algae levels recommended for recreation purposes.

Urban Customers

This Amber Alert does not affect any urban water supplies.

Rural Customers

Rural customers will continue to be supplied from the Eureka Storage.

We recommend that you fill all on-farm tanks to maintain three days’ water supply in tanks on-farm.

Rural Water Quality

Customers are reminded that the raw water being supplied directly to farms through the pipeline or our water carting program is not fit for human consumption.

Water can be used for household activities, such as watering gardens, flushing toilets, irrigation and laundry.

Water Carting

If a blue-green algae Red Alert resumes, upon request, GWMWater will cart up to 28,000 litres of non-drinking water a month to your homestead for household use (i.e. bathing, dishes etc.) at no additional cost.

Standpipe Locations

If rural customers wish to continue carting water to their property at their cost, customers are able to source water from the designated standpipe across the region as listed below.

•  Manangatang/Kulwin - Mallee Highway at the Daly Road and Crook Road crossroad (west of Manangatang)
•  Sea Lake - Lascelles Pump Station (south of Lascelles Township)
•  Berriwillock - Corner of Hopetoun-Woomelang Road and Woomelang South Road (west of Woomelang)
•  Chinkapook - Corner of Springfield Road and Hicks Road (south-east of Chinkapook)
•  Manangatang - Carr Road (south-west of Manangatang)
•  Nandaly - Nandaly-Tempy Road
•  Sea Lake - Corner of Gormans Road and Sea Lake-Swan Hill Road (east of Sea Lake)

We will send an SMS to customers on the Eureka Storage system, who have provided us with their mobile phone details when water quality results indicate a change of alert in our three step blue-green algae scale listed below.

For information or advice on stock related issues:
1800 675 88 - Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (EAD Hotline)
136 186 - Agriculture Victoria
www.agriculture.vic.gov.au

If the water is intended to be used for spraying (excluding weed spraying), customers are advised to seek advice from their agronomist or rural supplier as the water could possibly foul filters on spray units due to the elevated concentration of blue-green algae cells.

We are continuing to monitor this situation and have activated our Blue-Green Algae Management Plan.

We will provide further updates as the situation changes.

See service disruptions map

Algal Alert Level Definitions

GWMWater uses the following 3-step scale to alert customers of blue-green algae levels:

Red

>4.0 mm3/L

Blue-green algae is present at high concentrations (bloom conditions) that may pose human health risks.

Water is non-potable (not drinkable), unless treated by a Water Treatment Plant which is designed to treat algae, and is not suitable for domestic or recreational use.

What should I do?

Rural pipeline customers are advised to seek veterinary advice prior to watering stock during a red alert.

Amber

0.6—4.0 mm3/L

Blue-green algae is present in the water at concentrations that may pose human health risks.

Water is non-potable (not drinkable), unless it is treated through a Water Treatment Plant which is designed to treat algae, but remains suitable for recreational use.

What should I do?

Rural pipeline customers are advised to seek veterinary advice prior to watering stock during an amber alert. Regular sampling is undertaken at this alert level.

Green

0-0.6 mm3/L

Blue-green algae is present in the water at low concentrations.

Water is potable (drinkable) provided it is supplied through a Water Treatment Plant and is considered safe for recreational, stock and domestic use.

 

For warnings for the Murray River, refer to algal information issued by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

 

Blue-green algae warnings

We advise the public to avoid direct contact with water bodies that have been issued a blue-green algae warning. Monitoring has detected levels of blue-green algae above levels considered safe for recreational use.

We recommend:

  • Avoiding all contact with affected water.
  • Affected water not be used for cooking, drinking, washing/showering or any other domestic use. Boiling the affected water will not make it safe to use.
  • People who come into contact with the affected water should wash skin immediately in clean water. Characteristic signs of algae contact are skin rashes or itchiness, sore eyes, ears and nose; or if swallowed, nausea or vomiting.
  • Those experiencing any health issues after being in contact with blue-green algae affected water, please seek medical advice immediately.
  • Pet owners should prevent pets from drinking or having direct contact with blue-green algae affected water.

 

General information

High levels of blue-green algae produce toxins that can affect the health of humans, animals, birds and livestock as well as harm the environment.

Blue-green algae blooms occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in still or slow-flowing water in rivers and lakes. Blooms can be triggered by a combination of:

  • nutrients in the water
  • low water inflows and storage levels
  • warmer weather conditions

It is not possible to predict how long blue-green algae levels will remain high.

In the event of an algae bloom in one of our waterways, we may issue a warning (depending on the blue-green algae levels as identified in the above table). We will continue to regularly monitor the water quality in line with our Blue-green Algae Regional Coordination Plan.

It's important that you respect any changes to recreational activities at lakes, reservoirs, rivers and wetlands where warnings are issued.

Anglers wanting more information are recommended to visit Victorian Fisheries Authority’s website.

 

How to recognise a blue-green algae bloom

Blue–green algal blooms often cause a green/red/brown discolouration of the water. Sometimes scum forms on the water surface and an earthy or musty smell may be present.

Although algae blooms can sometimes be seen, water samples need to analysed to know for sure.

If you suspect a blue-green algae bloom, contact us immediately on 1800 188 586.

 

Blue-green algae Regional Coordination Plan

GWMWater is the Regional Coordinator for a major blue-green algae outbreak for a number lakes, reservoirs, rivers and wetlands within our region.

More about our Blue-Green Algae Regional Coordination Plan.

 

 

Further information on blue-green algae

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) https://www.water.vic.gov.au/waterways-and-catchments/rivers-estuaries-and-waterways/blue-green-algae

Australian Drinking Water Guidelines https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-drinking-water-guidelines

Agriculture Victoria 

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24 Fact sheet - Blue-green algal poisoning of stock (PDF)

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24 Fact sheet - Irrigating with blue-green algae affected water (PDF)